Setting up custom zones
When we refer to zones, we mean portions of a screen that change content independently. Zoning is great way to segment your digital signage content. We have pre-made certain zone configurations, but if you have something different in mind, you can always set up any configuration yourself. So let’s get to it!
What is aspect ratio?
Aspect ratio (AR) describes the proportional relationship of screen width and height (width divided by height). So a square would have an aspect ratio of 1:1, which is same as 2:2 or 100:100. Most TV screens today are in 16:9 and so is the FullHD resolution 1920×1080, because:
16 / 9 = 1.7777…
1920 / 1080 = 1.7777…
Playlist in playlist
When you create a zoned playlist from one of our presets, behind the scenes the system creates a playlist for each zone (with appropriate aspect ratios) and then creates a final ‘master’ playlist with one slide that includes all these individual zones.
When splitting the display area into sections, we must ensure that all these sections combined fill 100% of the screen. I recommend first drawing your zone layout on paper, ideally a grid paper as it reduces possibility of making a mistake. In this example I am going to create a playlist with 4 zones for a TV with a 1920:1080 resolution (Equal to 16:9 aspect ratio).
Calculating the size of your zones can be done in multiple ways. The one I usually use I base on centimeters, so the resolution of the TV is 1920 x 1080, then i draw up a box measuring 192 mm x 108 mm and add my zones. When I’m satisfied with the size of my zones I simply measure the zone in mm, so in this case I have the following zones.
The TV is 192 mm x 108 mm equals 1920:1080
The zone of the left is 40 mm x 90 mm equals 400:900
The zone in center is 112 mm x 90 mm equals 1120:900
The zone on the right is 40 mm x 90 mm equals 400:900
The zone in the buttom is 192 mm x 18 mm equals 1920:180
Now let’s create individual zones, you can set your custom size in the “Advanced” section, when creating a playlist (Format xxxx:xxxx)
When done, I have total of 5 playlists. I’ve changed background color for each of the zone for illustrative purposes.
Now let’s configure the master playlist:
- Set the duration of first slide in the playlist to ‘forever’ (master playlist should only contain 1 slide)
- [optional] Set slide background color to black
- Add individual zone playlists to the first slide. If your measurements were correct, they should nicely fill up the entire screen:
When creating a group for your screen, you only need to set the master playlist as the base playlist.
We’ve made a step-by-step guide for you right here: How to create content zones – step by step
Deeper dive into zones
Creating individual zones that fill up the content exactly can be difficult to grasp at first, this video shows you how to figure out zone dimensions
My sub-playlists are not nicely formatted?
When you create all zones one by one manually rather than using a pre-made layout, the system does not know which playlist is a child of which (and also you can include same playlist in several other playlists). Therefore the sub-playlists will not be formatted nicely as in the screenshot above, but do not worry – the formatting is only eye candy, all functionality still remains the same.